Enter my analysis of fad diets so that YOU can separate the facts from fiction.
1. Ease of implementation. Now some of the more exotic detox diets can get somewhat complex, but for the most part they are relatively easy to follow. Simply stop eating and drink lots of liquids. This is an oversimplification, however the general principle is a massive decrease in calories with an increase in fluids.
2. Extremely fast weight loss. You lose everything with this one: water, glycogen, muscle and some fat. Depending on how aggressive the detox/fast is, you can lose more weight than a high protein diet.
1. The potential for massive muscle loss. Which translates into a decreased metabolism (less calories burned 24/7). The degree of muscle loss will depend on how long you detox. If it’s only for a day or two, this should be minimal. However, if it’s longer (or cyclical) then muscle loss will be far greater.
2. Extreme weight gain rebound. Again, the degree depends on the aggressiveness and length of the detox. I can vouch from personal experience, however, that the more aggressive detox plans can cause a GREATER rebound than high protein diets. If you lose arm flab it will come right back.
3. Not sustainable. You can’t live off of liquids. Period.
4. Extreme hunger. At least with a high protein diet you get the satiating effect from protein. But with a detox you get nothing…
5. Energy crashes. Once your body burns through the carbs stored in your liver (within hours), you’ll be running on fumes. What fumes? The burning of your muscle tissue for energy.
6. Susceptibility to sickness. Once your body stops getting the nutrients it needs, your immune response will plummet. You are more likely to be hit with a hard case of the flu or fever when following an aggressive detox. And if you are stressed out, your susceptibility will be even greater. My worst cases of fever all came during periods of fasting.
So if fad diets don’t work, what’s the best way to lose arm flab?
The most effective nutritional approaches have two characteristics:
2. Fewest restrictions
The challenge is finding the perfect marriage between the above characteristics and what actually produces continual results.
I believe that viewing meal assembly in terms of 4 groups is the best way to achieve optimal results. Simply pick one item from each of the following groups EVERY time you assemble a meal:
1. Vegetables (i.e., kale)
2. Protein (i.e., tofu)
3. Carbs (i.e., black beans)
4. Fat (i.e., olive oil)
It’s critical to include food from each group to boost health and arm fat loss because they all interact with each other in ways that we currently do not fully understand. In this case, the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
Now recipes are many and you’re going to have to experiment. This is the only way to find out what works best for your taste buds. And finding what works best will ensure long term adherence and continual results (if you really want to lose arm flab).
Having said that, you should strive to find a subset of meals that you like and stick to them ONLY. This will allow you to automate and speed up the cooking/meal assembly process as much as possible. This in turn will decrease the amount of effort required to eat healthy.
The most successful “dieters” (I’m only using this phrase for the sake of explanation!) eat a bare minimum combination of meals that provide “just enough” variety for continual adherence.
I’ll admit that this is somewhat of a simplification on how you should eat, but it’s not too far off. And it provides the general framework for how you should view meal assembly for optimal arm fat loss.